"We flooded that bunker with fire and watched the Heretics burn till they was nothin’ but ash on the wind. It was beautiful Sarge, just... beautiful."
- — Gunner "Scorch" Hennessey, Catachan IX Armoured
The Hellhound is a flame-thrower tank of the Astra Militarum that is based upon the Imperial Chimera armoured transport chassis. Its main weapon is the Inferno Cannon, also known as the "Dragonfire Thrower," which is a large Flamer that projects streams of burning Promethium at range, making the Hellhound well-suited to close-range fire support missions such as countering enemy melee units that attempt to assault Imperial armour and driving dug-in enemies out of cover.
The Hellhound is widely used by the Imperial Guard as a useful weapon to clear enemies out of cover. Hellhound tanks usually make up their own company in a regiment, but are rarely fielded as one. Instead the Hellhound and its variants are attached to infantry and armoured regiments as they are needed. There are very few Imperial Guard regiments lucky enough to possess an entire company of these tanks. The crew of a Hellhound are often considered brave as the tank is prone to exploding catastrophically if an enemy round detonates the fuel tank, but many Hellhound crews are made up of pyromaniacs, who actually prefer the Hellhound's fire-based weapons and spend much of their free time playing with the output of the Hellhound's Promethium dispersal valves to increase the vehicle's fire output. This is discouraged by Imperial Guard commanders, as it makes these vehicles even more prone to explosion.
Sacrificing the Chimera's transport capacity for larger engines and bulky canisters of volatile Promethium fuel, the Hellhound sports a monstrous turret-mounted flame-thrower that discharges a self-igniting chemical. Typically deployed in dense terrain, the Hellhound excels at flushing dug-in infantry from their bunkers and boltholes. The roar and hiss of chemical flames fills the air as the Hellhound's Inferno Cannon opens fire. Fat sizzles and ammunition explodes as enemy infantry reel screaming from cover, ablaze from head to toe. As oily, reeking smoke fills the air, the survivors fall back in desperate disarray.
The Hellhound's only real disadvantage is the comparatively short range of its primary armament, a limitation that forces it to close with the foe during battle. When coupled with the understanding that a fully fuelled Hellhound is a massive firebomb waiting to happen, it is unsurprising that most Hellhound crews are drawn from punishment details and somewhat unhinged volunteers. These men and women, however, take a perverse pride in their maverick reputations. Many Hellhound crews, treated to the front-row spectacle of Heretics and aliens burning in the fires of Imperial justice, begin to see their duties as akin to religious cleansing – such pious pyromania leads to fatalism and risk-taking, but also encourages deadly, enthusiastic efficiency.
The Hellhound's main weapon is a turret-mounted Inferno Cannon and the vehicle also has a hull-mounted Heavy Bolter which can be replaced with a Heavy Flamer. The tank can also be outfitted with the following enhancements: Camouflage Netting, Extra Armour Plating, a Hunter-Killer Missile Launcher, improved communications equipment, a mine sweeper, rough terrain modifications, a Pintle-mounted Heavy Stubber or Storm Bolter, track guards, a Searchlight, a Dozer Blade, and Smoke Launchers.
Known Patterns of the Hellhound
There are several different patterns of the Hellhound in use by the Imperium, such as the Artemia Pattern which replaces the vehicle's turret with one that is remotely controlled from inside the vehicle by the vehicle's commander that allows the tank to make do with a crew of only two. Other patterns of the Hellhound, such as the Mars Pattern, use several smaller fuel tanks that can be hidden inside the remnants of the Chimera chassis' troop compartment. This pattern of Hellhound is preferred by Imperial commanders to the standard pattern of the vehicle since it is similar in appearance to the regular Chimera transport, making it harder for the enemy to identify. There are several variants of the standard Hellhound tank, each equipping different weapons and which are described below.
Known Variants of the Hellhound
- Devil Dog - The Devil Dog replaces the Hellhound's primary armament with a snub-nosed Melta Cannon. Acquiring its name from the high-pitched howl this weapon makes upon firing, the Devil Dog is capable of punching far above its weight in armoured combat. Indeed, many Devil Dog crews style themselves as big game hunters or monster slayers, excelling in the eradication of enemy armour and exceptionally heavy infantry assets. A foe forced to fight protracted campaigns in dense terrain against the Imperial Guard soon learns to dread the hunched silhouette of the Devil Dog -- those who don’t soon find their vehicles reduced to molten slag by this aggressive and fast moving tank hunter.
- Bane Wolf - A deceptively simple adaptation of the Hellhound, the Bane Wolf replaces its Promethium with bulky canisters of toxic gas. This incredibly corrosive fume has been certified by the Magos Biologis as inimical to almost every lifeform in the galaxy. Ejected from the tank's Chem Cannon in hissing jets, the hideous substance chews through ceramite and chitin alike in microseconds. The victim is dissolved by the virulent chemicals, blood boiling and organs rupturing even as their skin erupts into bubbling lesions and sloughs from their crumbling bone until the targets are reduced to a slick of organic sludge to be ground beneath the tank’s whirring tracks. Commonly, Bane Wolf crews are remote, taciturn individuals who do not mix with other Guardsmen. Their vehicles are as likely to see action quelling the uprisings of traitorous human cults as they are against deadly xenos threats, and to deploy the Chem Cannon against fellow humans, no matter how debased, can be a harrowing experience. It takes a particular kind of nihilist to crew such a short ranged and grotesque terror weapon.
Known Users of the Hellhound
- The Death Korps of Krieg - The Death Korps of Krieg used Hellhound tanks during the Siege of Vraks.
- The Vraksian Traitor Militia - The Vraksian Traitor Militia used the Hellhounds stored inside of Vraks Prime's massive store houses against the Imperial forces attacking the planet during the Siege of Vraks.
- 266th Cadian Armoured Regiment - The 266th Cadian Armoured Regiment deployed Hellhounds on the planet Anphelion IV to clear foliage and fight the Tyranids who had escaped the unauthorised experiments of the Adeptus Mechanicus.
- 1-3 Hellhounds, Devil Dogs and/or Bane Wolves in any combination.
Adeptus Mechanicus Technical Specifications
|Vehicle Name:||Hellhound||Main Armament:||Inferno Cannon|
|Forge World of Origin:||Graia, Mars, Artemia||Secondary Armament:||Hull-mounted Heavy Bolter|
|Known Patterns:||II - XVII||Traverse:||360 degrees|
|Crew:||1 Commander, 1 Driver, 1 Gunner||Elevation:||-8 to 25 degrees|
|Powerplant:||Vulcanor 16 Twin-Coupled Multi-Burn||Main Ammunition:||98 Shots|
|Weight:||35 Tonnes||Secondary Ammunition:||400 Rounds|
|Height:||4.10 metres||Superstructure:||150 millimetres|
|Ground Clearance:||0.45 metres||Hull:||120 millimetres|
|Max Speed On-Road:||70 kilometres per hour||Gun Mantlet:||N/A|
|Max Speed Off-Road:||55 kilometres per hour||Vehicle Designation:||0639-944-6501-HH070|
|Transport Capacity:||N/A||Firing Ports:||N/A|
|Access Points:||N/A||Turret:||150 millimetres|
- Codex: Astra Militarum (8th Edition), pp. 45, 105
- Codex: Astra Militarum (6th Edition) (Digital Edition), "Hellhounds," "Fast Attack-Hellhound Squadron"
- Codex: Imperial Guard (5th Edition), pg. 50
- Codex: Astra Militarum (6th Edition) (Digital Edition)
- Imperial Armour Update 2006, pg. 9
- Imperial Armour Volume One - Imperial Guard (Second Edition), pp. 72-74, 262, 267
- Imperial Armour Volume Four - The Anphelion Project, pp. 110-112
- Imperial Armour Volume Five - The Siege of Vraks - Part One
- Imperial Armour Volume Twelve - The Fall of Orpheus, pg. 196
- Only War: Core Rulebook (RPG), pp. 218-219